Saturday, November 3, 2012

X-Band 2, My favorite iPad accessory

X-band, my favorite iPad accessory

I was interviewed recently about the iPad mini launch by someone from the news program up at Syracuse University for their TV news show. I brought my iPad 2 to the interview and we got to talking about my X-band 2. It's such a part of my everyday life, that I forget how many people haven't seen one.

I bought it as sort of a lark, because the iPad can be a bit ungainly to hold with one hand if you happen to be watching a long movie or when I get into one of my long winded facebook sessions.  I thought I might use it now and then, but that it would be very situational. It's great for waving the iPad around in front of a group of people or training somebody on how to use one. The thing was, once I put it on, I quickly got addicted to it.

It's handy, comfortable, and weighs next to nothing. There are a lot of different ways to hold it, I usually put the two inner fingers of my hand thru the hole, sometimes I change it up watching a movie by just hanging it off of my thumb. It is also quite durable. After hours and hours of daily use over the last year or so, it still looks brand new. There are cutouts for the headphone jack and most anything else you need to get to. (It does block the rear camera lens, which I have never used.)

If I set the unit on it's back, it prevents it from scratching. The leather corners also prevent it from getting scratched or dusty if I want to lay it on its face. Instead of being a once a week thing, now the only time I take it off is to pack the iPad for serious travel. For those times I use the Logitech Zagg keyboard case. If I plan to do a marathon typing session at home, I often use the Zagg case and the iPad with the X-band attached. The case easel works fine without removing the X-band.

When I finally do hit the hay or if I am purely watching Netflix, I hang the iPad on the wall by the X-band and pipe the sound thru my massive antiquated stereo system with my Belkin Bluetooth Receiver. Life is good.

Anyway, I could not recommend the X-Band more highly. Rarely has a product so exceeded my expectations. In fact, the only thing I don't like about it is that they don't yet make one for the iPad mini. ... but I can dream.

For more on the X-band and their other products, visit TKO Solutions on the web.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Bubble

My goal is to always be driving in "The Bubble" by maintaining space all around the vehicle. The faster you are going, the bigger the bubble needs to be. The general rule of thumb for following distance is one car length of cushion for each 10 mph of speed (on dry paved roads. Longer for gravel, wet, or icy roads) When possible, I try to at least double that.

But you also need to try to be aware of and control the bubble behind and to the sides of you. Obviously, you can't control the driver behind you directly, but if someone is following you at an unsafe distance, you can pull over and let them past you. You may have to do this more than once to get a driver behind you who gives you enough space. If there is no way to safely let the tailgater past you, you can try tapping your brakes a couple of times. Seeing those taillights come on usually gets you a safer buffer. It will also toggle off their cruise control if tthat was the problem.

You also need to monitor the adjacent lanes. This means learning to use your mirrors and making it a habit Don't drive alongside another driver for more than a few seconds. And especially don't sit in their blind spots at all. If traffic is heavy, it's better for you to be cruising a bit ahead of them than bit behind. Always assume that people entering traffic from a side road or driveway won't see you, and be prepared if the pull into your lane right in front of you.

Lots of stupid things can happen, but if you keep a big enough bubble around you, you'll be much safer. And everyone else will too.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speeding Quotas

I don't recommend speeding. I used to be a chronic, habitual speeder, but stopped once I started driving around with kids in the car. I discovered speeding didn't save much time and it has a lot of downsides.

If you have not yet come to the same conclusion, you may find it helpful to know that a large percentage of those speeding tickets are issued on the 15th and the last day of each month, due to enforcement quotas. Forewarned is forearmed.

Friday, February 3, 2012


The most dangerous times to be on the road are dusk and dawn, but even if your car is not so wired, you should ALWAYS drive with your lights on. I just drove past the aftermath of a horrendous 4 car accident where lives were likely lost due to poor dusk visibility.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Driving is the easiest thing in the world.

Except when it isn't. That's the problem. Most of the time, you could do it in your sleep. That's why it becomes so easy to not pay attention. But a moment of inattention could cost your life or someone else's.

People do stupid stuff. Don't be caught unawares when they do!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Season? Not!

All season tires are only all season if you live BELOW the Mason-Dixon line. If you live in the northeast, you either need to stay home on slippery days or buy four snow tires. It's cheap life insurance for you and me. (the guy you are going to slide into...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Right of Passage

You have NO control of whether or not that car is going to pass you. You have Absolute Control of whether he has to do it on the right or on the left. Don't be an ass. Drive right, except to pass.